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What happened to Mariah Carey's voice?


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Old 18-12-2011, 23:52
Lewnaticc
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From her debut album, Mariah Carey (1990) (which features some of the most impressive vocals I've ever heard) to 1996 (Daydream Tour), her voice was just... on another plane. There was no laudable comparison.
Her greatest vocal performance to this day is 'Hero' (Daydream Tour) [Live], taking place on March 14th 1996.
The first of her "questionable" live performances came on September 22nd, 1997, just over a year after her impressive vocal display on her Daydream Tour. The performance was again, 'Hero' (The Oprah Winfrey Show) [Live], however... something was missing. She sounded flat, strained and hoarse, and for the first time ever... lipped part of the song (the notorious "Way" note she managed to spring up to a G#5 in at her Daydream Tour and Madison Square Garden performances).

Here is a video comparing the two performances, titled "Mariah Carey lost her voice too fast".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WarLUvgsh30

As big a fan as I am of her, I'm inclined to agree. Some people throw "she was sick!" or "everyone has a bad performance", however she was never the same. She remained scratch, hoarse and weak in her vocals from then on.

WHAT HAPPENED? That's my question. How does someone lose half of their talent so suddenly?
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Old 19-12-2011, 00:01
TheChicagoBaron
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Idiocy.
She clearly didn't take care of it as much as she should have, because a voice shouldn't just ''go'' like that.
Perhaps there were other circumstances - maybe she went through similar to what Adele is going through now after the stress of that tour?

I'm not a huge fan of Mariah, but I'm not going to deny that she has/had a great voice.
She oversings way to much though, and she loses the emotion.
She should just make a really stripped back soul album, because what she's doing now isn't working critically or commercially.
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Old 19-12-2011, 00:21
Lewnaticc
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Perhaps there were other circumstances - maybe she went through similar to what Adele is going through now after the stress of that tour?
This was my initial thought. I remember someone posting Adele's final performance before her illness and she sounded... odd. Hoarse and weak, like it wasn't her. Maybe Mariah experienced a similar condition... It would certainly explain a lot.

I agree with the stripped album. I think she needs to completely reinvent herself again. Rainbow, Glitter and Charmbracelet were just poor parodies of her Butterfly album, and then she came back a completely different artist with The Emancipation of Mimi, taking a full dive into R&B diva - and it worked, it worked very well. Since then, however, E=MC˛ and Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel have just been poorer versions of The Emancipation of Mimi.
I would love a soul album with raw vocals because although she sounds scratchier these days, it actually puts more emotion into her voice.
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Old 19-12-2011, 00:46
Anika Hanson
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Personally I think she overused her voice between 90-96 and that's what caused the damage. I think she sang outside of her natural range. Also if you listen carefully you'll notice that her voice gradually changed over the years, starting from 1990. In the begining her voice was heavier and more soulful. Over the years it got thinner and higher.

I think Mariah has a reason for Rainbow, Glitter and CB. Rainbow was her last album for Sony, she desperately wanted to finish it so she could leave the label. At the time she was also trying to record glitter and, Tommy Motolla was doing everything she could to sabotage her.

Glitter was a movie soundtrack and the whole thing from the movie script to the album itself did not work.

Charmbracelet was realised only a year after the breakdown, getting dropped by Virgin and signing to Def Jam. I think CB was only ever meant to be a stop gap, damage limitation, and to keep her in the public eye. I don't think it was ever meant to be her comeback.
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Old 19-12-2011, 17:34
johnboybetter
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I think she stopped nurturing it.
Now she is going to start again and she is still amazing IMO.
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Old 19-12-2011, 17:54
iseloid
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overuse of the whistle register and her upper register. It wouldnt be an issue if she was a soprano, but she isnt. Hence singing like a soprano isnt going to be good in the long run. I LOVE her voice (debut-96) but singing outside of her natural range (if she is an alto as she says) isnt right.
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Old 20-12-2011, 12:43
xmel05
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Her voice just naturally went down hill during Butterfly, the Daydream tour probably didn't help.
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Old 20-12-2011, 13:18
snickerdoodle
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No its still amazing!
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Old 20-12-2011, 14:38
pinkglue
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she aged just like whitney
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Old 20-12-2011, 14:50
snickerdoodle
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she aged just like whitney
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QC2sAZPCIys
i beg to differ.
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Old 20-12-2011, 15:13
DarthFader
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The title of this thread sounds like a new US sitcom staring Will Shatner :-p
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Old 20-12-2011, 15:21
Squealer_Mahony
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She likes drink.

I don't think she has a drink "problem" I think she just likes it.

If she sang 4 note pop songs it wouldn't matter
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Old 20-12-2011, 15:38
LynxSoldier
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Between the albums Rainbow, Glitter and Charmbracelet she was not sleeping or eating properly. This, couple with the anxiety and stress she was suffering, meant that when she would sing those amazing notes her vocal chords were not allowed to repair themselves properly. The same way if you work out at the gym, don't eat and don't sleep, you will get weeker rather than stronger. She's also always had nodules which she refused to remove. That is why her voice has deteriorated the way it has.

She's still a fantastic singer though, and writes great songs. The things people say about her now they also said about her after Glitter. In terms of pop music and the way it sounds sonically, she has probably been one of the biggest influences on the past decade until recently. Her Xmas album she released while pregnant displayed great vocals. Sure, they are studio vocals, but it's still her voice.
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Old 20-12-2011, 16:11
BadKid95
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She suffered from stress a few years back, doubt it did her voice any good
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Old 20-12-2011, 16:19
snickerdoodle
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Nothing Happened!:d
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Old 20-12-2011, 19:02
Rooftopcowboy
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This was my initial thought. I remember someone posting Adele's final performance before her illness and she sounded... odd. Hoarse and weak, like it wasn't her. Maybe Mariah experienced a similar condition... It would certainly explain a lot.

I agree with the stripped album. I think she needs to completely reinvent herself again. Rainbow, Glitter and Charmbracelet were just poor parodies of her Butterfly album, and then she came back a completely different artist with The Emancipation of Mimi, taking a full dive into R&B diva - and it worked, it worked very well. Since then, however, E=MC˛ and Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel have just been poorer versions of The Emancipation of Mimi.
I would love a soul album with raw vocals because although she sounds scratchier these days, it actually puts more emotion into her voice.
I agree that she needs to move on from the '00s R&B Diva' era in to a fresh sound.

I also agree that a more stripped back sound would appeal, just look at the success Adele is having.
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Old 20-12-2011, 19:06
little-monster
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Thankfully her voice hasn't gone like Whitneys but yes her voice isn't as strong as it used to be, especially in her live performances. But aging does that I guess or depending how you look after your voice.
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Old 20-12-2011, 19:11
Gigi4
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I've noticed that about her voice as well. I've never really understood why. It's kind of a mystery.
Mariah as far as I've heard doesn't smoke or use drugs like Whitney.
People say overuse but she has never toured that much like a lot of other artists.
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Old 20-12-2011, 22:29
Imperfect Angel
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Why do people overlook the fact that she has nodules? In the past she effortly sang around them but now many years later it is not as easy. She has never hidden the fact that her voice is very fragile and she more or less overused it back in the day with all those crazy vocals she used to give.

The way people talk about her voice like she has no voice is annoying. No she doesn't sound like she used to(her voice constantly changes anyways) but she still sounds great!
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Old 21-12-2011, 03:52
shadesofblack
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If there are nodules, then maybe she should head to Mass General and have it fixed. Technology has improved. Christina Perri just had it done. Sounds good.
Otherwise just put out good music without singing beyond her comfortable range. And yes, strip it bare and show the voice off (without the over singing antics. That sh!t gets old fast).
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Old 21-12-2011, 11:58
snickerdoodle
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mariahs still got it
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Old 21-12-2011, 12:40
Lewnaticc
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If there are nodules, then maybe she should head to Mass General and have it fixed. Technology has improved. Christina Perri just had it done. Sounds good.
Otherwise just put out good music without singing beyond her comfortable range. And yes, strip it bare and show the voice off (without the over singing antics. That sh!t gets old fast).
Her nodules actually did her more good than bad:
Quote from Mariah Carey herself:

"I have nodules on my vocal cords. My mother says I've had them since I was a kid. That's why I have the high register and the belting register and I can still be husky. The only thing that really affects my voice is sleep. Sometimes if I'm exhausted, I can't hit the really high notes. My doctors showed me my vocal cords and why I can hit those high notes. It's a certain part of the cord that not many people use—the very top. My natural voice is low. I have a raspy voice. I'm really more of an alto. But my airy voice can be high if I'm rested. [...] When I was little, I'd talk in this really high whisper, and my mom would be like, 'You're being ridiculous'. I thought if I can talk like that I can sing like that. So I started [she goes higher and higher and higher] just messing around with it. I'd practice and practice, and she'd be like, "You're gonna hurt yourself." I'd tell her, It doesn’t hurt. If I were to try and belt two octaves lower than that, that would be a strain."
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Old 21-12-2011, 15:15
calvin101
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I think it's a case of over-use and age - she was one of the biggest stars in the world in the early 90's and was constantly touring, recording and promoting. There is no way that you can perform the kind of songs she was singing in the early days time after time and not see a bit of "wear and tear" in your voice.

Plus people's voices naturally change as they age - however where Mariah is concerned, I think people still expect her to hit the notes as effortlessly as she did at her commercial peak and she certainly tried for a while. That isn't going to help either.
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Old 21-12-2011, 20:15
sparkle22
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I agree with the person who said she began singing outside her natural range I read an interview with russell watson who said he began thinking he was invincible as a singer singing every note there was and ending up having vocal surgery.
I know he is male and an opera singer but it makes you think also julie andrews did 70 shows back to back and ending up needing surgery ironically the man who ruined her voice
dr steven kessier also ruined another opera singer with surgery is the same guy who mariah see's.
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Old 21-12-2011, 20:42
shadesofblack
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I agree with the person who said she began singing outside her natural range I read an interview with russell watson who said he began thinking he was invincible as a singer singing every note there was and ending up having vocal surgery.
I know he is male and an opera singer but it makes you think also julie andrews did 70 shows back to back and ending up needing surgery ironically the man who ruined her voice
dr steven kessier also ruined another opera singer with surgery is the same guy who mariah see's.
I believe that he is her doctor if she thinks that nodules are helping her voice. Wth? If she's looking for that rolled out of bed, took a whisky shot, smoked a couple cigs, husky raspy, sound, then yes. Nodules probably did help her voice.
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